In this episode, we’re diving into a crucial topic: testing to consider as you age. This episode is part of a series we’ve titled: “Women’s Health: Fact Versus Fiction.” All too often, what we hear from friends or even from our doctors is that what we are experiencing may seem common but isn’t normal. We aim to shed light on essential health tests women should consider at different stages of life, empowering you to take control of your well-being.
Yearly Comprehensive Blood Panels: The Foundation of Good Health
Let’s start with the basics. Every woman should prioritize a complete panel of lab work done annually. While routine blood work is common, not all doctors conduct a comprehensive assessment. They often review only the basics, and it’s not uncommon to hear from patients who don’t feel well despite their doctor saying everything looks fine. This can happen because not all necessary markers are evaluated, or conventional reference ranges may not be sensitive enough to detect subtle issues.
One crucial component often overlooked in a standard panel is thyroid testing. The common TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) test provides some insight but doesn’t offer a comprehensive view of your thyroid health. A complete thyroid panel can provide a more detailed understanding of how your body is responding to stress, which can have far-reaching effects on your overall health. It’s a proactive way to stay on top of your well-being.
Additional Tests for Young Adult Females
If you’re a young adult woman experiencing issues like painful periods, PCOS, endometriosis, infertility, migraines, or irregular menstrual cycles, there are specific markers you should consider beyond the standard blood panel. These include leptin, prolactin, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, FSH, and L-P. Combining these blood markers with a Dutch test—a dried urine test that examines hormone metabolites—can provide a more comprehensive understanding of your hormonal health.
Perimenopausal and Menopausal Women
For women entering the perimenopausal and menopausal phases, it’s crucial to monitor hormone levels. Besides the previously mentioned markers, consider assessing DHEA and DHEA-S levels. These hormones play a significant role during this transition. A Dutch complete test, which analyzes hormone patterns over 24 hours, can offer valuable insights into hormonal changes during this phase of life.
Gut Health: The Link Between Hormones and Digestion
Your gut health is intimately connected to your hormonal balance. If you’re experiencing gastrointestinal issues, consider a GI map test. This comprehensive stool test can reveal imbalances in gut bacteria, helping you address digestion problems and optimize overall health. Remember, a healthy gut contributes to hormonal balance.
Alternative Breast Health Screening
Mammograms are often recommended for breast health, but there are alternative options to consider. Thermography and ultrasound therapy offer non-invasive approaches to monitor breast health. These may be worth exploring, especially if you have concerns about mammograms ( which you should:)
Colon Health: Colonoscopies and Beyond
Colonoscopies are typically recommended at certain ages, but it’s essential to make informed decisions based on your circumstances and family history. While a GI map won’t replace a colonoscopy, it can help improve gut health, indirectly benefiting digestion and overall well-being. This has to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Prioritize Your Health at Every Stage
Taking charge of your health is a proactive step towards a vibrant and fulfilling life. Instead of waiting for symptoms to arise, consider regular health testing tailored to your life stage. Whether you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or beyond, these tests can provide insights that empower you to make informed decisions and take action to optimize your health. Remember, you have the power to shape your health journey.
If you’re interested in these tests or have questions about your health, don’t hesitate to consult with a healthcare professional or specialist who can guide you through the process.We will be glad to help if we can!
Hey there, I’m Kari!
As a Pharmacist and Integrative Health Practitioner, I get the privilege of working with women who are struggling with fatigue, poor sleep, painful cycles, digestive issues, and irritability- all of which have become their norm. And they are struggling just to keep up, simply wanting their health back.
I know what it’s like to feel frustrated and left with the same issues, even after spending time, energy & money thinking I’d found the answer.
With the right support, a proven method, and the Lord as our guide, let’s get your health back so you can run the race set before you with perseverance and joy.
So thankful you found your way here!